Well, who knew. It turns out trying to hire a baby sitter is actually a pretty competitive space online. In the US, there are three big players: Sitters.com, Sittercity.com (which recently raised $8m) and Care.com, which has raised $16m. But in the UK-based Findababysitter has been building buzz about its service and has now raised a further £220,000 for expansion outside of the UK into wider Europe. This brings their total funding to date to £480,000, all Angel so far.
The investors are the PHC Group, an investment group based in New Zealand which specialises in health tech and biotech. It’s also hired a new Marketing Director, Ben Ferrier who comes from Photobox. The CEO is Tom Harrow.
The site’s mission is to give the tools of a nanny agency to parents without the big fee (up to £3,000 in some cases).
How does it work? Parents search for a candidate by performing a search e.g. “a French speaking nanny with a drivers license who lives within 2 miles of my home”. They then decide who they want to interview. A lot of the candidates hold Criminal Records Bureau checks and add this info to their profiles, but it is up to the parents to check the references and their CRB file.
Next month the site launches a background check on applicants using Experion, consisting of two reference checks and an identity check. They say this will set them apart from competitors as this is the harder part of the service to achieve.
The question which obviously begs itself however is how does Findababysitter prevent itself from becoming a place for unsavoury types to pretend to be legitimate baby sitters?
Every candidate on the site has to be approved by a member of staff – that means screening photo, description, and email address, before going live. The same goes with parents placing jobs.
This solution is admirable but this potentially stops the site from really scaling, and the international laws governing this kind of thing could well be an issue.